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PR vs. AD… What’s Right for Your Company?


So, your boss asks you if you should spend your time writing a press release about a newly patented product or develop an ad campaign targeting your core audience.

Your answer?
“It depends.”

(Then duck to avoid the nasty look he throws your way.)

We have clients come to us all the time wanting to run an advertisement. An ad is great for a new product or service if your goal is to persuade movement on behalf of your targeted audience or to raise awareness of something new. We help our clients run ad campaigns on TV, radio, billboards, in newspapers and online. Repetition in advertising is key to generating visibility and action. For some products and services, you have to be “top of mind” so for some businesses, frequency of exposure rules success as much as effective messaging.

What about PR? Depending on the target audience and the product or service you’re trying to promote, we sometimes recommend our clients add public relations to the marketing mix. According to, public relations is worth 3x the value of traditional advertising. Since news coverage is third-party opinion, the impact is considered three times that of a paid advertisement because it’s more credible.

This is called “Advertising Value Equivalency” (AVE). AVE multipliers range from 3x – 10x. here’s a simple way to look at it:

1 Minute TV news story = $1,050 - $3500 in commercial airtime cost

1/8 page newspaper article = $1,500 - $5,000 in newspaper ad costs

An online news story = $750 - $2,500 in web banner ad costs

4-minute radio interview = $600.00 - $2,000 in airtime costs

If you choose the PR route, you have to figure out what makes your company’s new product or service “newsworthy” so it gains airtime. (Or, obviously and self-servingly, hire someone else to do it for you.)

But as you can see above, effective public relations can go a long way in building value, credibility, and exposure for your business, often at a fraction of the cost of paid ads.

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KMK Media Group is a full-service communications firm focused on helping businesses succeed through consistent creative, message and tone.

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Our services include award-winning design, web development, social media management, video production, public relations, ad campaigns and more!

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Rockford, Illinois 61103
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